Alumni from around the globe descended on Grey Towers Castle on Oct. 12 to celebrate 20 years of a unique Arcadia program that’s centered on changing the world: the International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) Master of Arts program.
For two decades, the IPCR program has provided Arcadia students with tools and skills to make a positive impact in a globalized world. Many of the program’s 350 alumni have gone on to lead their own national and international nonprofit organizations and government agencies, human rights campaigns, and global peace initiatives in the U.S. and abroad.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing all that our alumni have accomplished,” said Dr. Warren Haffar, director of the IPCR program. “I love the work they’re doing, and I’m incredibly proud of this program. We’re showing people that peace is a better way.”
The 20th anniversary celebration brought nearly a third of alumni back to campus and highlighted many of their achievements. Additionally, celebration shirts were sold during the event to raise money for the Nyaeden Foundation, an organization co-founded by IPCR alumna Nyamal Tutdeal ‘18M that distributes menstrual kits to women in war-torn African countries.
“We need the IPCR program more than ever,” said Allyson McCreery ’13M, IPCR program support specialist and a graduate of the program. “We need people who are going to impact others in a positive way.”
During the event, Dr. Jeff Rutenbeck, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, welcomed alumni back to campus and remarked on the impact the program has made over such a short time.
“Our mission of global engagement and our commitment to social justice, the IPCR program stands out as a small program that has managed to do incredible things on all of these critical fronts,” said Dr. Rutenbeck. “The IPCR program is the embodiment of the Arcadia Promise. Programs [like it] are an integral part of the fabric of a vibrant and relevant University.”
Additionally, Dr. John Prendergast, founding director of The Enough Project, was the keynote speaker, where he addressed peace building in the 21st century and recognized the IPCR program for helping to develop today’s leaders, who are supported by a network of alumni. The Enough Project supports peace and an end to mass atrocities in Africa’s deadliest conflict zones. Dr. Prendergast is a humanitarian who has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He co-founded The Sentry alongside George Clooney, an investigative initiative that chases the assets of African war criminals and their international collaborators.